Couple says dog they adopted from shelter alerted them to house fire

by: Torie Wells Updated:

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UNION COUNTY, N.C. —

A Union County couple rescued a dog by adopting him from a shelter. In return, the dog rescued them when there was a fire in their home.

There are some bonds that can't be broken -- like a man and his best friend and a survivor and the one who helped make him one.

"He definitely saved our lives on Sunday," said Russell Ewing, from Indian Trail.

In this story, both bonds are there between Ewing and his dog, Tank, which his owner said is a mastiff-boxer mix.

"It was Sunday morning, early, and he was going crazy," Ewing said.

It woke Ewing up and forced him out of bed. He thought Tank wanted to go outside. But instead of running to the back door...

"He came down and stopped right here and looked at the door," Ewing said.

Smoke and water were pouring from the laundry room, which has the furnace, water heater and washer and dryer. Ewing said heat from the flames burst the pipes.

When fire crews arrived, Ewing said they told him a few more minutes and the smoke would have spread.

"The firefighters said, ‘Five minutes and we would have been waking you up, pulling you out of the house,’" he said.

While Tank is being called the hero now, it was just a few months ago that he was rescued himself. Ewing and his wife adopted him from a shelter.

"Five months ago I rescued a puppy and today, he rescued us," Ewing said.

Ewing said Tank was a Father's Day gift and now, he is a gift in more ways than one.

He and his wife can't live at their home for two to three weeks because the water and heat have been knocked out and the damage needs to be cleaned up.

But Ewing said this Thankgiving, he still feels blessed.

"We do have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving," he said.